This information is for our TAPS Academy staff to utilize for their local courses. The materials provided here are property of TAPS Academy and are not to be reproduced or distributed without consent of TAPS Academy. 


Learning Point


 Week 1
 Opening and Pre-Assessment
 Teens and officers are independently pre-tested by the evaluator about their social distance feelings towards each other. Officer mentors and teens meet for the first time.
 Week 2
 Conflict Resolution
 Conflict is at the root of most crimes. Whether it is someone "stepping to you", looking at you in a wrong manner or wanting to fight, youth must be armed with an understanding as to why conflict occurs and how to respond. Teens discuss their neighborhoods, conflict situations and their reputations. In the end they learn to think about the future and where they want to be in 5, 10, 15 and 20 years.
   Gang Membership
 Teens discuss gang membership and the horror of gang membership as it leads to injury, prison and death. More importantly the teens learn there is a way out and support available throughout the city to make the choice to avoid or get out of gang life. Gang life is an everyday threat to teens. TAPS spends a week helping teens understand that gangs are simply not the answer for a successful future. Teens also educate TAPS on the real and everyday reality of gang life for them.
 Week 3
Why does bullying occur? Why are some students victims and others offenders? These are topics TAPS teens discuss in week three. Teens learn that bullying hurts and how it can lead to serious violence on the part of the victim and the offender. Students learn outlets beyond their peers and discuss how bullies are made and how it feels to be a victim. Most importantly they learn not to respond to the threat of violence with violence.

 Sexting and Dating Abuse
 Sexting and date abuse are realities of today. Teens learn what sexting and dating abuse is and most importantly what to do about it.
 Week 4
 Team Building
 Teens and mentors focus on team building and the understanding that working together is a way to reduce conflict and avoid violence. The students work together to accomplish hands-on challenges to actively learn the importance of team building.
  Week 5
 Nutrition and Gardening
 Healthy eating combined with exercise can improve mood, increase energy and self-esteem. Food deserts are areas that have small mini-marts that sell lots of packaged food that is high in sugar, salts and artificial ingredients. Gardening is a great career in which you can learn about healthy food. It can also teach patience and perseverance.
 Week 6
 Safe Driving
 Through film and discussion students are exposed to the dangers of driving and texting. Teens learn that these mistakes can kill themselves and innocent by-standers. The buckle up and adult supervision laws are discussed. Teens leave this week with a commitment to driving safely and following the law.
 Week 7
 Going to school is the job of our teens. They need school in order to reach their goals for the future. Our students learn truancy is an offense that has consequences.
 Week 8
 Drugs and Alcohol
 Teens and their police mentors discuss laws related to use and possession of drugs, the severe penalties associated with use and possession and the effective strategies to avoid involvement in this criminal behavior.
 Week 9
 Active shooter
 Although many of these teens were very young when 9/11 occurred, they are familiar with the threat of terrorism, and school shootings. Our teens become aware of why these horrific events occur and what to do if they find themselves in this situation. Teens learn it is about being quiet and using cover and concealment to increase their chances of a positive outcome.
 Week 10
 Reflection Session
 As we conclude the class the teens interact with their mentors to think about the future and learn about the support systems that are available for them when they need someone to talk to or feel conflict, violence or other threats becoming overwhelming.
   Beyond TAPS
 Teens learn how to apply TAPS strategies to their lives beyond TAPS Academy. Police mentors and teens discuss how to stay connected as a TAPS alumni to their mentors and their communities.
 Week 11
 Post Assessment
 Final assessment and reflection on lessons learned as well as preparation for graduation.
 Graduation with family, teachers, mentors.